06: Cruising: The Caribbean
Historic Hike on Hassel

Historic Hike on Hassel

Taking advantage of the “cooler” day and a little buffer from the sun, we dinghy over to Hassel Island. Steve’s been hiking the trails on this island for a few days and we’ve heard good things, so, let’s go explore!

Hassel Island has a lot of history. It was home to the British, then the Dutch, then the British again. They scooped up the lepers on St. Thomas and imprisoned them on one side of the island; they stored ammunition and soldiers on another side; and yet another area on this small island is home to the only remaining “marine railway” in the Western Hemisphere.

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Where the British stored their bombs: old school ordinance storage.
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View from Cowell’s Battery & Signal Station – the highest point on the island. The station was used to signal the arrival of ships to this harbor. The long pier to the right is where the cruise ships dock. Free Range is down there, somewhere.
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The island has some neat vegetation – cactus, vines, shrubs, trees, and these crazy – looking “hasta” (?)

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A turtle friend on the path.
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The marine railway – this place was pretty amazing! Large, steam-powered vessels were pulled out of the water for maintenance and repair. Pictured here are some of the gears – powered by steam – that helped to pull ships from the water.
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A better shot of the “gear room”.
An old postcard showing the railroad system setup for pulling boats out of the water.
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Sea plane landing in the harbor, just beyond the maritime railway.
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A hermit crab friend joined us on the trail.

It felt SO GOOD to get out and move and be active. We’ll definitely take Dan on this hike before we take off for the BVI. My little brother gets in later this afternoon!!!!











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